Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Art of Routine

These days, I’m streaming either comedies or biographies. I love learning about artists, writers, actors, or anyone who has an inspiring story. The movie The Endurance, is one. It's the story of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole.

The movie is based on the book, The Endurance written by Caroline Alexander. In it she recounts one crew members diary entry about Shackleton. The entry quotes Shackleton's response after the ship was destroyed by shifting ice floes; forcing the men to evacuate into makeshift shelters.

“As always with him what had happened had happened,” Macklin wrote. “It was in the past and he looked to the future without emotion, melodrama or excitement. He said, “Ship and stores have gone, so now we'll go home.”

I am obsessed with Shackleton. He did not allow his crew to get caught up in the story of the tragedy. He insisted on a routine of working, cleaning, and physical activity, thus grounding the men in their bodies rather than letting their emotions run away with them.

Shackleton's main objective was to keep the men unified. Our job is to keep our body-mind-spirit unified.

Depressed and scared? Write it out, accept your feelings, and then take a walk, read, nap or stare out the window. Stuffing down emotions with food or drink or Netflix feels good temporarily, but the emotion is still there.

Feelings are like people. We all want to be seen and heard. The body is where emotions are stored. That’s why a walk around the block feels so good!

Yes, we are in an unprecedented time. But practicing a feeling-fine routine will move us through this very real, yet temporary, situation.

When I play The Spirit of Harmony music that has started most of my work days for the past two years, my emotional self receives the signal that it’s time to focus on work.

Whether you are working from home, or finally cleaning out that closet, a few minutes of routine goes a long way towards weathering both the viral and media storms.

Now, keep your gorgeous self safe. Stay home, wash your hands and before you inventory your toilet paper again, take a deep breath and repeat after me, “If Shackleton can do it, I can do it. If Shackleton can do it, I can do it.”

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